Maine Genealogy Archives

Extracts from the Diary of Moses Davis, J. P., of Edgecomb, 1775-1823

Source: The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, vol. 83 (Boston, Mass.: The Society, 1929).

[p. 414]
OF EDGECOMB, ME., 1775-1823

Communicated by William Davis Patterson, Esq., of Wiscasset, Me.

In the Sheepscot River, near its eastern bank and opposite the town of Wiscasset, Me., lies a wooded island, which is known as Davis Island and forms a part of the town of Edgecomb.* It takes its name from Moses Davis, who came from Newburyport, Mass., and settled there about 1770. He was a justice of the peace, represented Edgecomb in the Massachusetts Provincial Congress at Watertown in July 1775, and was a delegate to the convention which met in Boston and on 6 Feb. 1788 ratified the Constitution of the United States. He voted in favor of ratification.

On 20 Apr. 1822 Mr. Davis wrote that he "was born in Hampton falls in Newhamshire State the 23 day of September, 1743, and at about five years of age was carried to Boston, & there went to school until 14 years of age, & then was put an Apprentice to Capt. Onesiphorus Tileston to learn the trade of a housewright, where he lived until 21 years of age, and soon after went to Newbury Port, and was there the chief part of the term of four years — there he Married Mrs Sarah Rolfe & in the year 1770 moved his family down to Freetown then so called but now Edgecumbe 52 years the

*Wiscasset, the shire town of Lincoln County, Me., on the western bank of the Sheepcot River, was formerly a part of the ancient town of Pownalborough, which was incorporated 13 Feb. 1760. Pownalborough included also the present towns of Alna and Dresden and Swan Island (an island in the Kennebec River, which from 1847 to 1917 had corporate existence as the town of Perkins). The North Precinct of Pownalborough was set off in 1794 as the town of New Milford, a name which was changed in 1811 to Alna. The northwestern part of Pownalborough, including Swan Island, was incorporated in 1791 as the town of Dresden. The southeastern part of Pownal-

[p. 415]

12 day of April 1822 — and he will be 79 years old the 23d day of September 1822."* He died at Edgecomb 18 Nov. 1824.

Moses Davis kept a diary, from which the contributor of this article has copied verbatim et literatim the records of marriages, deaths, and funerals which are given below. In the copy the punctuation (or lack of punctuation) of the original manuscript has been carefully followed, but superior letters have been printed on the line.


May the 14 1776 I married Benja Rackliff & Mary Dodge

Thursday May 22 1776 this afternoon I married Jesse Richards & Mary Williams

Fryday June 14 1776 this day came Mr James Allen & Rachel Stevens & took one another to be Husband & wife before me

Friday Dec 10 1776 this Day married William Rackliff to Rebecca Gardner

Thursday April 21 1785 Married Danl Brown and Sarah Stevens

Thursday April 28 1785 went to Mr Thos Dodges & married him to Sarah Ross

Thursday Dec 1 1785 went to Jona. Huntoons & Married Moses Huff and Elizabeth Chase in the Evening

Thursday Dec 8 1785 went to Damascotte (sic, Damariscotta) — Married Ezra Miller and Elizabeth Haggelton

Thursday June 22 1786 went to Mrs McFarlands [in Boothbay] and Married David McCobb to Elizabeth McFarland

Wednesday Nov 6 1786 afternoon went to John Crummets & Married Benja Chambers and Feeney Tibbetts

Thursday March 15 1787 in the Evening went to John Cockren & married Martha Cockren to Florence McCarty

Thursday, May 17 1787 in the Evening married Timothy Merrow and Elizabeth Merrow who came here for that purpose

Thursday Oct 4 1787 went up to Ball Town† Married Lidia Trask To Abner Ford

Thursday Oct 18 1787 This Evening Married Enoch Gove to Betty Davis

Monday Oct 20 1788 married John Kent and Susannah Thompson

Sunday May 24 1789 Patte Married this Evening

Tuesday Sept 29 1789 Towns End at Widow Wylies married Robert Mitchel to Martha Wylie

Fryday Oct 16 1789 married Capt Jewett to Elienor Cochran

Monday Jan'y 4 1790 This Evening went to Capt Goves & Married David Barter to Polly Whiten

Tuesday April 13 1790 went to Mr Merrows & married Brigs Howland to Abigail Merrow

Tuesday April 20 1790 went to Jeremiah Crummetts & Married William Durons to Ruth Burnham

Thursday May 13 1790 went in Evening to John Chases & Married Nehemiah Colby & Hannah Baker

Tuesday June 8 1790 Saml Rolfe & Sarah Davis Married this Evening

borough retained the old name until 1802, when it was changed to Wiscasset; and Pownalborough, as the name of a Maine town, passed out of existence.

Edgecomb, on the eastern bank of the Sheepscot, east and southeast from Wiscasset, was incorporated in 1774, and in early days was called Freetown. The long island west of the main course of the Sheepscot, which was formerly known as Jeremy Squam and in Feb. 1828 was incorporated as the town of Westport, was a part of Edgecomb prior to 1828.

*These words of Mr. Davis have been copied from a document in his own handwriting, which is now in the possession of the Maine Historical Society.

†Now the town of Jefferson

[p. 416]
Tuesday March 22 1791 Married Isaac Gove & Polly Carlile

Thursday March 15 1792 Mr Hood was married this Evening

Thursday April 5 1792 went to Damascotte married John Brown to Rachel Stevens

Tuesday June 26 1792 went myself after noon & married John Brown Junr to Betsey Perkins

Sunday Nov 25 1792 this evening went to Mr Spencer Deckers & Married his Daughter Peggy to Nathl Nelson

Tuesday January 1 1793 went to Lt Cuninghams & Married Betsey Cuningham to Benja Allbee Junr

Thursday January 3 1793 went to Damascotte & Married Reuben Alley to Lucy Dunton

Tuesday January 22 1793 went with Obadiah Trask to his Fathers & Married Peter McSweney to Hannah Colby

Thursday June 13 1793 went to Mr Perkins Married Thos Sweat & Eunice Perkins

Thursday Oct 31 1793 went about 2 oClock to Mr John Alleys & Married Benjamin Dunton to Patty Alley

Tuesday Nov 26 1793 went to John B. Dareens [sic, Deering] & Married Ephraim Stevens to Sally Brown

Tuesday December 24 1793 went to Mr Kennedys and Married James Moore & Phebey Cannada

Thursday Jan'y 2 1794 Married David Silvester Trask

Thursday April 10 1794 Married Solo Baker to Miriam Carlile

Fryday Aug't 19 1794 Married Joseph Barter & Sarah Pinkham

Thursday Dec 25 1794 went to Joseph Duntons Married John Kennedy to Judith Dunton

Monday Dec 29 1794 afternoon went to John Trasks and Married Stephen Trask to Hannah Trask

Tuesday Dec 30 1794 afternoon went to Boothbay to Capt Joseph Reeds, and Married Thomas Gove to Elizabeth Reed — tarried all night.

Saturday Jan'y 24 1795 Married Enoch Trask to Sarah Giles about 10 Clock

Tuesday Jan'y 27 1795 Evening Daniel Dodge was Married to Judith Davis — by Rev Mr Pickles

Thursday Jan'y 29 1795 went to Boothbay to Deacon Aulds & Married his Daughter to Jona. Hutchins

Thursday Dec 3 1795 afternoon went to Capt Cloughs to an Entertainment, made for & on Account of Betsey Clough's being married to John Huse, the Thursday before this at Wiscaset*

Sunday July 3 1796 Married Lord to A. Huff

Thursday July 7 1796 afternoon went to Timothy Cuninghams and Married Jona. Wilson & Polly Mitchel

Saturday July 23 1796 Married James Carlile & Betsey Goudey at Mr Goudeys

Thursday September 8 1796 I went this Evening to Solo Trasks & Married Sarah Trask to D'd Daren

Sunday May 21 1797 Just before night went to Henry Colbys and Married Peter Murphy to Nancy Colby

Thursday June 15 1797 this afternoon Mr Dalton & Widow Moore came here & were married Just at Sundown — tarried all night

Sunday Oct 22 1797 Just at Dusk went to Mr Hoods and Married Abner Hood to Betsey Mitchel

*Mr. Davis always spelled the last part of the name Wiscasset with only one s. The name was in common use long before the name of the town was changed from Pownalborough to Wiscasset.

[p. 417]
Thursday Nov 30 1797 Rebecca was Married this Evening to William Clifford Junr

Thursday Dec 14 1797 afternoon went to Mrs Deckers & Married her to Jacob Nelson

Monday April 16 1798 afternoon went with Capt Hatch to his house & Married him to Fanny Maccafery

Thursday April 26 1798 afternoon went to Mr Wm Cliffords & Married Elias Patterson to Martha Clifford

Sunday May 13 1798 after meeting to Mrs Dodges & married Rhoada Dodge to Asa Dodge

Thursday June 7 1798 went to John Darins & married Andrew Trask to Mary Darin [sic, Deering]

Thursday Aug't 23 1798 afternoon went to Sol Trask & Married Elijah Brown to Mary Hutchins

Thursday Sept 20 1798 Married Sol Trask to Else Chase

Sunday Sept 23 1798 this Evening went to Moses Huffs & Married William Moore to Rachel Billings

Tuesday Decr 11 1798 Betsy Barber and Nathl Knight married at Capt Websters by Mr Sawyer

Thursday Dec 20 1798 this evening Married E Trask to Abigl Merrill

Sunday Dec 30 1798 went in the Evening to Nathn Goves & Married Elijah Gove to Mary Gillpatrick

Thursday Feby 21 1799 went about 4 oClock With Jona. Merrow to John Trasks and Married David Merrow to Jane Trask

Sunday May 26 1799 went in the Evening to Mr Merrills & Married Enos Gove to Lidia Merrill

Tuesday June 11 1799 went to Wedding of Major Tubbs & Mrs Gove

Thursday Nov 28 1799 went after noon to Mr Flys & Married his Son Wm to Olive Stutson

Wednesday Dec 25 1799 went about twelve oClock to Joseph Duntons & Married Roger Shearman to Betsy Dunton

Wednesday Jan'y 1 1800 in the evening went to John Dodges Married his Daughter Paty to John Page Junr

Thursday August 21 1800 afternoon went to Danl Leemans & Married Patty Leeman to Josiah Gorham

Thursday Nov 20 1800 Just a[t] sundown went to James Pattersons & married Jacob Cuningham to Eliza. Patterson

Sunday Dec 28 1800 Married Abram Kimball to Betsey Trask this evening

Tuesday Feby 2 1802 Robert Cliffords wedding

Tuesday Nov 16 1802 went to Thomas Dodges afternoon and married Ebenr Clifford to Sally Ralph

Monday April 11 1803 went to Joseph Duntons & married Joseph Sherman to Sarah Dunton

Thursday Feb'y 21 1805 Polly Trask Married to James Hodge today

Thursday April 2 1805 went to Sebra Crookers Married Elxander Trask to Polly Curtis

Wednesday Oct 30 1805 went to Mr Winthrop Dodges at 3 oClock after noon & Married John Dodge to Sally Dodge

Thursday Nov 28 1805 went to Danl Leemans & Married James White to Thankful Hatch

Wednesday Jan'y 1 1806 went to Saml Merrows & Married James Williams to Sally Merrow

Sunday June 1 1806 this morning went to Mr Stephen Merrills & married Sally Merrill to Capt Ezra Ryan

Thursday Aug't 7 1806 went to Abigail Goves & Married her to Simeon Pearl

[p. 418]

Sunday Oct 12 1806 went to Mr Sears's & Married Jesse Snow to Joanna Sears

Sunday Nov 9 1806 in the evening went to Spencer Deckers & Married Wm Simpson to Martha Decker

Thursday Nov 27 1806 afternoon went to Mr Ebenr Perkins to the Wedding of our Son Moses to Polly Perkins

Thursday May 7 1807 afternoon went to Daniel Leemans & Married Abigail Leeman to Andrew Light

Thursday May 21 1807 this afternoon went to Willm Clifford & Married Ebenr Lewis to Sally Clifford

Sunday June 19 1808 after meeting went to Henry Colby & married James Leppard to Eliza. Colby

Thursday Sept 29 1808 afternoon went to Daniel Trasks & married James Trask to Esther Huff

Wednesday Jan'y 25 1809 Married James Huff to Phebey Trask

Thursday November 30 1809 Married Giles Tibbetts Junr to Jane Crummett

Thursday June 7 1810 at Saml Cliffords Married Tilly H. Clisby to Sally Clifford got home about 5 oClock and went about 7 oClock & Married Wm Clifford the 3 to Sally Besey

Sunday Jan'y 6 1811 Afternoon went to Moses Roberts & married Catharine Chesly to Stephen Coffin

Tuesday Jan'y 22 1811 afternoon Married John O. Thomson to Sarah Luce both of Reedfield

Thursday Nov 26 1812 John Clark 2d came here with Clarisa Dodge & I married them & they stopd to supper

Thursday June 10 1813 I went to Spencer Cliffords & married Joseph Clifford to Deborah Mitchel

Sunday July 18 1813 went after breakfast & Married Jeremiah Moore to Sally Baker

Tuesday Sept 16 1817 went in chaise about one oClock to Rufus Goves to marry Moses Dodge & Polly Leeman Married them about 3 oClock

Thursday Nov 12 1818 Married Patrick Smith to Susan Bridges this evening at home

Thursday Dec 10 1818 went in evening to Decon Adams's & married his Daughter Sarah &c

Deaths and Burials

Saturday April 22 1775 made a Coffin for William Hodges Daughter

June 15 1776 made a Coffin for Mr James Mores Wife

Thursday June 9 1785 to my great Surprise heard of the Death of Mr Joshua Sawyer who Died by means of a mortal Cut in the Ancle

Monday Oct 15 1787 Miss Cuningham Buried to Day

Mr Zechariah Dodge died the 24th of October 1788

Thursday November 11 1788 David Whitier Buried to Day

Thursday May 20 1790 went afternoon to the funeral of old Miss Trask

Sunday October 24 1790 went to the funeral of John Rice — heard Mr Gould preach a sermon on the occasion

Fryday Sept 16 1791 afternoon went to the funeral of William Gove heard Mr Gould preach a Sermon on the Occation

Saturday May 26 1792 Nathl Leeman was drowned this Evening

Fryday Nov 30 1792 Capt William Kennedy was Drown'd last Tuesday

Monday Dec 17 1792 This evening at Sun Setting Capt Decker Died

Wednesday March 6 1793 Mrs Trask Died this morning at Mr Merrils

Tuesday June 18 1793 heard the news of Sally Rolfe being dead

[p. 419]
Tuesday Aug't 6 1793 Funeral in meeting house of wife of Mr Nathl Moore who Died Last Sabbath

Wednesday Sept 2 1793 went to help Bury Mr Asa Gove who died last night with the small pox

Fryday Dec 6 1793 went to the funeral of Danl Dodges twin Children

Saturday Jan'y 4 1794 Patty [Dodge] died

Fryday June 27 1794 went to Boothbay to Wm Reeds funeral, who was Drown'd

Sunday July 19 1795 went to meeting at Wiscaset & to the funeral of Mrs Kingsbury who died last Friday night

Sunday Nov 1 1795 funeral of Mrs Tilton

Tuesday Dec 8 1795 Mr Robert Light Drown'd this Evening

Tuesday Aug't 23 1796 Colonl Gove died about 12 oClock at noon

Dec 22 1796 Mrs Dalton died last night about two oClock

Fryday August 18 1797 went to the point* afternoon and see Mrs Pearson, who died the sun about an hour high afternoon

Tuesday Jan'y 9 1798 Funeral of Wm Leemans child

Saturday Jan'y 20 1798 Solomon Trasks wife died this morning about 4 oClock

Thursday Aug't 30 1798 This Afternoon Henry Hodge Esqr was Buried who died last Monday

Saturday Sept 29 1798 Capt Saml Patterson buried to day

Wednesday Dec 12 1798 Daniel Dodge died this morning about five oClock

Wednesday Oct 29 1799 Funeral of Thos Goves Child

Saturday Sept 20 1800 Saml Haley was buried this afternoon at Wiscaset

Thursday Oct 2 1800 Capt E. Gove died at 4 oClock

Saturday Oct 25 1800 Judith Dodge died at 3 oClock this afternoon

Sunday Nov 9 1800 Funeral of David Clifford

Monday Dec 15 1800 Funeral of Thos Gove who died in Boston & buried & brought home afterwards

Sunday Dec 28 1800 Funeral of Tempey Clough

Fryday Feb'y 13 1801 Funeral of Mrs Bowman

Sunday March 8 1801 went to Wiscaset to the funeral of Widow Silvester

Fryday March 13 1801 Funeral of old Mrs Barton

Monday March 16 1801 Funeral of Solo Trask Junr Child

Wednesday March 18 1801 Funeral of Mrs Babcock

Sunday April 19 1801 Samuel Davis died this afternoon about six oClock

Saturday May 9 1801 Funeral of Enoch Trasks wife

Thursday May 21 1801 Mrs Lydia Gove buried

Wednesday June 3 1801 Funeral of Mr Merrills daughter

Wednesday June 10 1801 Funeral of Robert Cliffords wife

Thursday July 23 1801 Funeral of Mr Dalton at Wiscaset

Saturday Aug't 1 1801 Mr Sears Child buryed this afternoon

Tuesday May 18 1802 Funeral of Mr Chapmans child

Sunday May 23 1802 Funeral of Ebenr Moores Son

Sunday Jan'y 16 1803 went to Gowen Riggs funeral

Sunday June 19 1803 Funeral of Sol. Trasks child

Monday Jan'y 16 1804 Funeral of Joel Somes

Fryday July 13 1804 Revd Benja Chapman died this afternoon 3 oClock

Saturday July 14 1804 Moses† & Mr Merrill made Mr Chapmans Coffin, self went to Wiscaset, in the forenoon & bought the furniture for sd Coffin &c afternoon fixd blacking & blackd the Coffin Moses & Mr Merrill carried it up & put Mr Chapman in &c

*Wiscasset Point, i.e. Wiscasset.

†Moses Davis, Jr., son of the writer of the Diary.

[p. 420]

Monday July 16 1804 went to the burying place & shew Isaac Herrendon where to dig the grave for Mr Chapman, & attended to see that matters were in order for the funeral &c and Mr Chapman was buried about 5 oClock had for paul holders, the ministers following Vizt Revd Mr Sawyer who preached the funeral Sermon Mr Ward Mr Baley Mr Riddle Mr Gilet & Mr Belding

Monday Sept 3 1804 Funeral of Mrs Thomson

Saturday Jan'y 12 1805 Funeral of Enos Goves child

Saturday Feb'y 16 1805 Funeral of Wm Moores child

Thursday June 6 1805 Becca Clifford died this morning

Tuesday July 16 1805 Funeral of Samuel Gove

Saturday Sept 21 1805 Pearson Clifford died about half after seven oClock this morning

Wednesday Dec 25 1805 Funeral of Esther Handy

Saturday Dec 28 1805 afternoon went to Wiscaset to the funeral of Major John Huse

Thursday July 16 1807 Funeral of Mr Besseys Child

Sunday July 26 1807 Funeral of Doctor Hood

Sunday Nov 1 1807 Funeral of Widow Sweatt

Wednesday Feb'y 10 1808 Funeral of Wm Leeman

Wednesday June 8 1808 Funeral of David Gove

Saturday Nov 12 1808 Rolfe Davis drowned

Tuesday Dec 13 1808 Funeral of Hannah Boynton wife of Joseph Boynton of Wiscaset

Fryday Dec 30 1808 Funeral of Capt Ebenr Trask

Sunday April 16 1809 Funeral of Old Mrs Blackledge

Wednesday June 7 1809 Funeral of Betsey Trask

Saturday July 1 1809 funeral of Solo Trask Junr

Saturday Jan 20 1810 Deacon Thos Ring died very sudden

Tuesday Aug't 13 1811 I went to the funeral of Genl Wood as a paul holder a large number of persons collected together to attend & see said funeral a warm day

Saturday Dec 7 1811 Funerals of Capt Jewett and Benja Herrenton

Monday May 4 1812 Funeral of James Hagget

Wednesday May 26 1813 Mark Goodwin shot himself by accident & was buried this afternoon

Sunday May 30 1813 Ezra Beal buried this afternoon under arms*

Monday Jan'y 17 1814 Funeral of John Tiltons child

July 1815 It is 32 years since Father Rolfe died

August 21 1815 I gave Susan Bridges a Certificate of her marriage to Bridges to send to the pay master to get his pay — because he died the 6 of July in the service of the United States

Monday Oct 23 1815 M Davis† went to Ebenezer Haggets to make his wives coffin who died yesterday

Tuesday Nov 28 1815 M Davis made a coffin for Polly Gove who died yesterday

Fryday Feb 6 1816 M Davis went to the funeral of Spencer Decker

Monday June 17 1816 Widow Betsey Gove died this morning

Monday July 29 1816 M Davis made & carried home Cyrus Doles coffin who died yesterday

Thursday Dec 31 1818 Mr Nathan Gove died this morning aged about 79 years

Saturday Jan'y 23 1819 Funeral of Widow James Moore

Saturday Jan'y 30 1819 Funeral of Willm Trask who died with a wound in his thigh

*Ezra Beal is supposed to have been a soldier at Fort Edgecomb, on Davis Island

†Moses Davis, Jr.

[p. 421]

Wednesday March 3 1819 Funeral of Winthrop Dodge

Monday May 24 1819 Uncle David Trask died this morning

Monday Aug't 2 1819 Wm Taylor of Wiscaset buried today: died yesterday

Thursday Augt 12 1819 Judge O Cook died this morning

Monday Sept 13 1819 M Davis making Coffin for Saml Clifford who died yesterday

Wednesday Oct 27 1819 Capt William Clifford died this morning about one oClock

Wednesday Dec 8 1819 M Davis child Harriett died this morning about 3 oClock

Monday Dec 27 1819 Benja Spooner died yesterday about 2 oClock

Monday May 1 1820 Enoch Trasks wife died yesterday morning

Tuesday Augt 22 1820 Funeral of Capt Saml Pattersons child

Saturday Oct 7 1820 Mr William Clifford died to Day in his canoe going to mill

Tuesday Oct 31 1820 David Clifford died this morning about three oClock

Tuesday June 26 1821 Washington Trask drowned this afternoon

Sunday March 8 1823 Funeral of Daniel Tilton